Twenty-five of the world's greatest capitals and how to see them in a weekend
They are not only the entry point to a country but also, so often, its heart and soul. True, capital cities can be huge, crowded, hard to negotiate and overwhelming but, at the same time, they can be the perfect introduction to an unfamiliar nation - the ideal place to spend a few a days before exploring the rest of a country.
So if you're in search of inspiration for a weekend getaway or want to make the most of an international stopover, here's where to start. From Tallinn to Tokyo, Bangkok to Bratislava, our bite-sized pictorial guide to the world's top capitals looks at the must-see sights in great metropolises you might not have been to and new ways to negotiate the cities - tired old London? predictable Paris? - you think you know back to front.